U.S. Army All-American Bowl
Jan. 4
San Antonio, TX

Pecos County Livestock Show
Jan. 10-11
Pecos County Coliseum
Fort Stockton, TX

Martin Luther King Jr. March and Rally
Jan. 20
San Antonio, TX

Maverick County Junior Livestock Show
Jan. 21-25
Maverick County Lake
Eagle Pass, TX

San Antonio District Office
Falcon International Bank
2530 SW Military Drive
Suite 103
San Antonio, Texas 78224
Toll Free 1.800.459.0119
Fax 210.932.2572
Eagle Pass District Office
Maverick County Courthouse
501 Main Street
Suite 114
Eagle Pass, Texas 78852
Fax 830.758.0402
Pecos District Office
312 S. Cedar Street
Suite 100
Pecos, Texas 79772
Fax 432.447.0275
Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711
Fax 512.463.1017
January 2014 - Message from Carlos
The New Year is a time of renewal — a time to look inside and gather the strength we need to carry forward. Very often, it is helpful in this process to first look back.

This past Christmas Day was the 10th anniversary of the death of Jovonie Ochoa, a four-year-old San Antonio boy who was starved by his grandparents. The incongruity of Jovonie's death — occurring on Christmas morning while other kids around town were opening their presents — shocked and angered the entire community.

But it also spurred us to action.

In early 2004 I convened a group of child advocates that became known as the Blue Ribbon Task Force, an initiative that is still active today. Over the last decade, this group has taken the fight against child abuse directly to San Antonio neighborhoods.

We have knocked on hundreds of doors with a message of hope, delivering information on a host of community resources that can help families cope with the social and economic pressures that put kids at risk. And a statewide version of the Task Force, created legislatively, has explored new strategies and innovations to bolster prevention efforts.

Jovonie would be 14 years old today, dealing with the challenges that all teens face, but filled with wonder and anticipation. He never reached this milestone because of the cruelty of his family. As we remember Jovonie's life and his death, we should mark the 10th anniversary of his legacy as well with a renewed effort to love and protect all children — our own and the ones who live down the street, the other side of town, in other towns and cities.

As we greet the New Year, this renewal will be a priority resolution for me and all the members of the Blue Ribbon Task Force as it marks ten years of service. I urge everyone to make this same resolve, add it to your personal goals for the coming year. Child protection is a 24-7 community effort that cannot succeed without constant energy and vigilance. I encourage everyone to get involved in your local community's child protection efforts and invite you to join the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

After we look back, let's commit ourselves to a renewed effort to make child abuse and neglect a thing of the past. That's something we can all look forward to.

Semper Fi!

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Deadline extended for counties to apply for road funds

The Texas Department of Transportation has extended the deadline for counties to submit applications for road funding under Senate Bill 1747.

The bill created a Transportation Infrastructure Fund that counties can tap to help maintain energy roads. This new law provided — for the first time — $225 million in general revenues for county roads. It represents a historic opportunity for counties to leverage state resources to help them address infrastructure needs.

Over the last six months, the Texas Department of Transportation has been developing the rules, framework, and application process needed to implement the law. Unfortunately, delays from the original timeline were making it extremely difficult for counties to apply before the deadline.

For example, SB 1747 requires a county to establish a County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone with an advisory board, complete a road report, and have the required matching funds. The Legislature did not intend, as the agency's rules initially required, for a county to complete these tasks prior to submitting an application. Rather, the intent was for counties to complete these items only prior to receiving their grant funding.

Further complicating matters is that TxDOT did not distribute to counties the potential grant allocation that each would receive until Nov. 27. This information is necessary to help determine if the effort and limited county resources should be leveraged to seek grant funding. With the existing grant application window of just one week — Feb. 7 to Feb. 14, 2014 — counties have little time to meet the grant criteria.

TxDOT, responding to a request by Senator Uresti and other senators in energy producing counties, agreed to postpone the grant application period for one month — from March 7 to March 14, 2014 — giving counties more time to properly conduct their assessments.

Senator Santa hits the road in District 19

Hundreds of children across Senate District 19 were able to enjoy Christmas this year, thanks to Senator Uresti, aka Senator Santa. Some 450 gifts were collected at the senator's 17th Annual District Christmas Party and Toy Drive in San Antonio, where constituents enjoyed a holiday meal, visited with Santa, and opened their hearts to neighbors in need.

Senator Santa then distributed those gifts to children — and also visited elderly nursing home residents — in Lytle, Pearsall, Carrizo Springs, Crystal City, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and Uvalde.

"Playing Senator Santa is the most fun I have as a senator," Uresti said. "I am deeply grateful to the constituents who make this program possible. For many kids across District 19, a joyful Christmas would be out of reach if not for their generosity."

Uresti congratulates retiring county judges

Two of District 19's hardest working county judges have passed the reins to new public servants. Congratulations are due to former Brewster County Judge Val Beard and former Kinney County Judge Tim Ward, both of whom worked tirelessly to improve the lives of their constituents.

Beard, a dependable leader for 20 years, oversaw the completion of numerous public infrastructure projects such as the Brewster County Jail, the renovation of the historic Alpine post office, and the Pattillo community center in Study Butte. She also worked to create better emergency response centers across the county, and helped implement the Brewster County Groundwater Conservation District, which is keeping the region's water supply safe, pure, and secure from export to other parts of the state.

Ward worked diligently to protect Kinney County's water resources, provide street paving and other infrastructure, and oversaw the historic restoration of the county courthouse.

"Val Beard and Tim Ward exemplify the best that elected officials have to offer," Uresti said. "They served the people of their respective counties with little in return, often at great personal sacrifice. I congratulate both of them for a job well done and wish them the best in all future endeavors."

County Commissioner Kathy Killingsworth will serve the remainder of Beard's term, while County Commissioner Woody Massingill will serve the remainder of Ward's term.

Take note of voter registration certificate change

When you received your new orange voter registration certificate, you may have noticed the addition of a previous, or maiden name, on the left hand side of the card. If so, don't worry that your name is wrong on the voter rolls! Due to the Voter ID law, the Secretary of State has asked counties to include previous names on the registration certificates to help ward off problems at the polls should a person present an outdated form of identification that contains the previous name. Please be sure to check the mailing address, on the right of the certificate, for the official listing of your name. If this name or address does not match your legal name, and your identification, please call your county voter registrar, or visit https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager to update the name or address on your registration.

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©2013 Carlos Uresti Campaign  •  A.M. Hernandez, Treasurer  •  P.O. Box 240431  •  San Antonio, Texas  •  78224